Good afternoon, folks. Friday night in the Association was… weird, to say the least. Let’s talk NBA.
“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” — Kobe Bryant
With all of the transactions still being finalized from Thursday’s trade bonanza, a few teams were left with severely limited rosters. Miami, Portland, Atlanta, and Detroit, in particular, were playing with undermanned rotations. The results were somewhat expected, but it was how we got to those final scores that created some late-night drama.
Bam’s hot night spoiled by Kings
The Miami Heat were without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro to minor injuries. Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill were still not yet with the team as their trades were being finalized. That left the majority of production up to Bam Adebayo, who did not disappoint.
The former ‘Cat posted 26 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on 12-16 shooting. including this dunk over the top of two Sacramento Kings defenders (one of them De’Aaron Fox) that literally made me and my roommate jump out of our chairs in the middle of the night.
We’re giving @Bam1of1 2 bodies for this one
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 8, 2020
But the Kings hit 19 three-pointers to win its fifth game over its last seven outings. Fox added 16 points and eight dimes while shooting 6-15 from the field. Without a full rotation for Miami, the Kings took full advantage. They turned 20 Heat turnovers into 31 points and eventually led by 17 points in the fourth quarter.
”In this league, you have to be able to defend,” Fox said. ”There are nights where sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall, but you have to be able to rely on your defense. Right now, we’re doing pretty well on both sides of the ball.”
Sacramento’s 19 threes came eight days after they drilled a franchise record 21 triples.
Refs blow missed goaltend in Blazers loss
12 hours later and I’m still hot over this one.
If you stayed up to watch the late game on ESPN, you know what I’m talking about. Down two points with time running down, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drove into the lane for a layup. After he was fouled on the initial contact (which was not called), Lillard’s shot was blocked by Rudy Gobert after it clearly hit the backboard first. No goaltend was called. The Utah Jazz went on to win 117-114.
Watch the full video below to see Dame’s reaction in the lockerroom.
"It cost us the f****g game."
Every replay of one of the worst missed calls/goaltends in NBA history + Damian Lillard's postgame comments. pic.twitter.com/e6M6zCcuAb
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 8, 2020
It’s one of the worst non-calls I’ve seen in a long time. Not one referee made the call. Everyone on the court saw it, the announcers knew it, everyone watching at home knew it. And it cost the Blazers what would have been a massive win as they try to make a playoff run. Portland came into Thursday with a 24-28 record, just a couple of games behind the 26-25 Memphis Grizzlies (who lost by 12 to the Sixers, moving them to 26-26). Portland could have gained an entire game on Memphis with the win, and against a surging team near the top of the Western Conference standings, no less. Instead, the refs missed a blatant goaltend because the rules don’t allow non-called goaltends to be reviewed. Which is like…. why even have replay if you can’t use it for this exact scenario? These are the type of missed calls that change rules. Something will surely be done in the summer to fix it. Let’s just hope the Blazers don’t miss the postseason by a half-game in a few months.
Portland is now 2.5 games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West.
Lillard was, obviously, fuming after the game and into the night. He went on social media, continuing to express his deserved frustration. Here are some tweets of note from the game.
We don’t wana hear this punk Ass shit. https://t.co/nuG56kaHbR
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) February 8, 2020
Plenty money https://t.co/8F9sGrfVQp
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) February 8, 2020
Mood ? pic.twitter.com/iQ6yJa942g
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 8, 2020
This next tweet stood out to me the most; from a respected Blazers reporter.
I’ve known @Dame_Lillard since his predraft workout in Portland. I have never, EVER, seen him as mad as he was in the postgame locker room. Pure, uncut anger.
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 8, 2020
And for some reason, Donovan Mitchell felt the need to talk trash about Blazers guard Gary Trent – of all people – for absolutely no reason.
Donovan Mitchell: “I don’t see why a guy like Gary Trent should come in and think he can just punk us. … We’re not a team that you can come in and just talk trash to. We’re not just gonna back down. … That’s what we kinda lacked the past few games — just toughness.” pic.twitter.com/Repl9u006a
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) February 8, 2020
I said what I said… https://t.co/IrhB83kkVY
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) February 8, 2020
Donovan Mitchell is lame. No other way to slice it, folks.
Lost in the confusion of the no-call was eight minutes for Wenyen Gabriel. The newest Blazer registered two and two rebounds.
OKC survives scare from Pistons
One of the few teams that stood pat with their roster at the trade deadline was the Oklahoma City Thunder, who managed to take down the Detroit Pistons 108-101. It was the Pistons’ first game without Andre Drummond, who they shipped to Cleveland, and they were also missing a few other key rotational pieces. As a result, the Thunder were able to pace the Pistons for a win that was never truly in doubt.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recorded 21 points on 7-13 shooting while recording at least one block for the ninth straight game. Nerlens Noel added seven points, six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 19 minutes. Hamidou Diallo was a DNP-CD for the second consecutive game as it looks like he’s lost his spot in the Thunder rotation for now.
- Devin Booker led the BBNBA in scoring with 33 points (in just 29 minutes) in a monster blowout win for the Phoenix Suns over the new-look Houston “Small Ball” Rockets by a final score of 127-91. Book shot 10-18 from the floor and 4-8 from deep to go along with nine rebounds and three assists. Kelly Oubre Jr. poured in a career-high 39 points for the Suns.
- Enes Kanter recorded his eighth double-double of the season for the Boston Celtics, posting 16 points and 15 rebounds in 28 minutes in a win over the depleted Atlanta Hawks.
- Willie Cauley-Stein added six points and five boards for the Dallas Mavericks, who fell to the Washington Wizards thanks to a Bradley Beal buzzer-beater. WCS is averaging under 10 minutes per game over his last three outings.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||127-91 W vs. HOU||33||10-18 (4-8)||9||3||0||1||4||+26||29|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||97-105 L @ SAC||26||12-16 (0-0)||7||3||0||2||5||-5||36|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||108-101 W vs. DET||21||7-13 (1-3)||2||1||0||2||1||+10||36|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||112-107 W vs. ATL||16||5-11 (0-1)||15||0||0||1||1||+23||28|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||105-97 W vs. MIA||16||6-15 (1-4)||2||8||1||1||1||+2||36|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||108-101 W vs. DET||7||3-4 (0-0)||6||1||2||2||1||+16||19|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)||118-119 L @ WAS||6||3-5 (0-0)||5||1||1||0||0||+2||8|
|Wenyen Gabriel (POR)||114-117 L @ UTA||2||1-1 (0-0)||2||0||0||0||0||-7||8|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||108-101 W vs. DET||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (ATL)||107-112 L @ BOS||DNP-Traded||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||97-105 L @ SAC||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||119-118 W vs. DAL||DNP-Foot||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
5:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Magic
7:00: Mavericks (Cauley-Stein) @ Hornets (KIdd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington)
7:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ Pistons
7:30: Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Pacers
7:30: Nets @ Raptors
8:00: Clippers (Patterson) @ Timberwolves (Towns)
8:30 (ABC): Lakers (Davis, Rondo) @ Warriors
9:00: Nuggets (Murray) @ Suns (Booker)
10:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Kings (Fox)